Soundtrack Review: Skyfall (2012)

Soundtrack Review: Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Skyfall by Thomas Newman.

“That was unexpected but what a fun surprise!”

Skyfall is the latest adventure from the world’s most popular spy James Bond. Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. The film is directed by Sam Mendes and starring Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris and Daniel Craig as James Bond. The score is composed by Thomas Newman.

Track List

1. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul 100
2. Voluntary Retirement 80
3. New Digs 80
4. Severine 60
5. Brave New World 80
6. Shanghai Drive 80
7. Jellyfish 80
8. Silhouette 100
9. Modigliani 80
10. Day Wasted 80
11. Quartermaster 80
12. Someone Usually Dies 60
13. Komodo Dragon 60
14. The Bloody Shot 100
15. Enjoying Death 60
16. The Chimera 80
17. Close Shave 60
18. Health & Safety 80
19. Granborough Road 80
20. Tennyson 60
21. Enquiry 80
22. Breadcrumbs 100
23. Skyfall 60
24. Kill Them First 60
25. Welcome To Scotland 100
26. She’s Mine 100
27. The Moors 100
28. Deep Water 60
29. Mother 80
30. Adrenaline 80
31. Old Dog, New Tricks 60

So yeah, James Bond and Thomas Newman. Is there anyone who didn’t see that coming? I sure didn’t, but one thing was for certain, that’s one score I was looking forward to. It could be great or it could be a disaster, but hearing Newman’s take on Bond is something special. What surprised me is how Bond-ish it actually sounds at times. I was expecting a little bit more Newman and less Bond, but he has somehow managed to please two camps and I have a foot in both. I was just getting used to David Arnold and I liked his recent scores quite a bit. With Newman you can hear that he has taken the job seriously with an excellent Bond-ish opening cue ‘Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’.

There are cues here which is superbly Bond like ‘Breadcrumbs’. Sure, almost everything here is not due to Newman’s writing, and we heard it all before but I love to hear it in a Bond film score. Who said Thomas Newman can’t write action cues? I’m sure a lot of people thought that, but he proves us all wrong with the hectic ‘The Bloody shot’ which admittedly starts slow-ish, but the pulse increases with each instrument. It completely takes off and I just don’t want it to end. Then you have ‘Welcome To Scotland’ which is just as frantic and lots of fun. Then you have totally Thomas Newman-ish sequences such as the beginning ‘Quartermaster’.


Well Mr. Newman, that was unexpected but what a fun surprise! This is definitely a Bond score, and quite a bit of Newman as well, but if you don’t listen hard, you’ll never notice. I am happy to say that this Bond score delivers and totally deserves some praise.


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GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Skyfall (2012), 8.5 out of 10 based on 17 ratings


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  • Chris Sierra

    I completely agree with your review, a very welcome surprise. I know there are many whom do not favor this score in comparisons to David Arnold’s previous work but I really enjoyed the change in direction.

    • Jørn Tillnes

      It’s certainly intriguing. Don’t know what they will do next. Will Newman continue or will the go with a new composer for each new film. Will be interesting for sure.

  • Jerry M

    Just as Pierce served well as commander Bond in the 90’s and 2000’s so did David Arnold, which just like wine, got better at scoring Bond movies over time. I will sorely miss Arnold’s score and the charisma he brought scoring the Bond movies over the years, I would have wished he would have scored Skyfall, which would have been a fine gratitude for his contribution to the series. But since Skyfall is a back-to-basic kinda Bond movie, so was the choice of a new composer. Since Mendes works closely with Newman in his past movie, I was not surprised he would join Mendes again on Skyfall. I was a bit perplexed with Newman scoring a Bond movie considering his CV that includes American Beauty and Jarhead. He did quite well, though I would have wished of more Bond-esque cues. Overall it is a solid score, Some of the most notable tracks that stood out for me where: Shanghai Drive, Modigliani, Brave New World, Komodo Dragon, Breadcrumbs, and of course the Adele song Skyfall (not included on the score) which, I could have not though of a more sexier and sulfurous performer for a Bond theme since Tina Turner in Goldeneye.

    • Jørn Tillnes

      I really got into Arnold’s latest Bond scores and enjoyed them a lot. Still the experimentalist in me is thrilled to see someone else given the chance, and particularly Thomas Newman who I would never have guessed in the first place.

  • M Raza

    some tracks are little bit similar to the dark knight soundtracks

    • Jørn Tillnes

      Really? I didn’t feel that for this score.

  • jewen07

    Yes, when I heard that David Arnold will not repeat the rol in this movie, I think I wasn’t the only one that I was thinking: Really???

    But now we have one of the best compositions for this saga.

    I love Skyfall track; when I was first time watching the movie this scene with this music I felt goose bumps, really, magic moment.

    Nothing to say about Adele’s Skyfall song, only this, I heard this song in my car for months, every single day when I was driving my car was an obligatory song.

    • Jørn Tillnes

      This was surprisingly good to me. I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, specially the action cues.

  • camilo

    I guess Arnold is always going to be my favorite Bond composer but Newman did an amazing job with this score, the action cues are great and by far one of the best in the series (My favorite is still Casino Royale though)

    • Jørn Tillnes

      I miss Arnold too. Doesn’t seem like he’s coming back for more Bond though.

      • camilo

        I know, I’m still excited to listen the upcoming “SPECTRE” score though

  • Weelious_225

    I really miss David Arnold. Casin Royale’s score was amazing. Every piece sounded unique, but there was a strong theme pulling it all together (not to mention the same hook that came up in almost every major action sequence) and the result was excellent.

    This sounds like an incredibly disjointed collection of generic action music picked from a dozen different movies. The awful music really helped ruin the movie, and (no disrespect intended) I’m very sad that Newman is returning for Spectre.